The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Evacuation Guidelines

From FEMA'S "Are You Ready--An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness"

Evacuations are more common than people realize. People living in coastal areas and in the Gulf states are old pro's at evacuation, but here in SW Washington we don't have the constant threat of tsunami or hurricane issues. However, that's no reason to get complacent.

We have our fair share of potential hazards that might require evacuation: flood (remember 96 and 08?), wildfire (residents in the Ostrander area had to evacuate during the Ball Park Fire in 98), landslide (Aldercrest), major chemical release (hello large industrial area, how are you today?), pipeline hazards, etc. 

Here are some helpful tips for evacuation preparation:

* Keep a full tank of gas in your car if an evacuation seems likely. (most of our events are fairly fast moving, so I'd say don't let your tank get below a 1/4. I'm guilty of running on fumes, but I'm resolving to stop doing that right now! Gas stations may be closed during emergencies or unable to pump gas during an electrical outage.

* Make transportation arrangements with friends or neighbors if you do not own a car.

* Listen to a radio and follow local evacuation instructions.

* Gather your family and go if you are instructed to evacuate immediately.

* Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.

* Be alert for washed out roads and bridges. Do NOT drive in flooded areas.

* Stay away from downed power lines.

* If there is a risk of flooding or power outage, unplug electrical equipment and small appliances.

* Let others know where you are going.

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